How to Recover Deleted Photos on Mac in 5 Ways

Can I recover deleted photos on Mac? The answer is yes, and you can recover deleted photos on Mac with Time Machine and iCloud backups. If you have no backups, try to find photos in Trash, use the macOS Undo option, or apply for recovery programs.

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When using the Mac or MacBook, most images are stored in the delete duplicate photos on Mac to organize the album, or erase some private information when they need to give the Mac away or for sale. Some Mac users just delete essential photos by mistake. Is there any way to recover deleted photos on Mac? We are here to help you recover deleted photos on Mac. Even the permanently deleted images can be retrieved without any more ado.

1. Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac [Most Recommended]

We guess most Mac users will feel frustrated when they empty Trash Mac and find some crucial photos have been deleted. It is nearly impossible to recover permanently deleted photos on Mac without backups and recovery tools. When you fail to find a helpful photo backup, you can turn to a helpful recovery tool that can make Mac Trash recovery easier. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac can help you in many situations, including:

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is also a convenient recovery tool, and we will guide you to recover permanently deleted photos on Mac with this functional data recovery program:

Note: You can create a backup by clicking the "Disk Backup" on the left first. When the disk is damaged or the photos on the disk are accidentally lost, you can get the photos back from the backup image.

Step 1. Scan for lost photos

Select the location where your valuable photos were lost and click the "Search for lost files" button.

select a location where you lost photos and click Search for lost files

Step 2. Select wanted photos

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately start a scan on your selected disk volume. Meanwhile, the scanning results will be presented in the left pane. By Path and Type, you can quickly filter the photos you've lost earlier.

scan for lost photos on Mac

Step 3. Recover lost photos

Select the target photos and click the "Recover" button to get them back at once.

recover photos from Mac

2. Recover Deleted Photos on Mac in Recently Deleted Album

When you delete photos on Mac in the Photo app, the deleted photos will show up in the Recently Deleted album. If you can't find Recently Deleted Album Mac, you should go to "File" and show it. This album works like the Mac Trash folder, and you can recover deleted photos on Mac in the Recently Deleted album by following the steps below:

Step 1. You can easily find the Photo app from the Mac dock menu. Click the icon to open it.

Open Photo app on Mac

Step 2. Then, you can see the Recently Deleted album from the sidebar, and you can find it with a little trash icon.

recover mac deleted photos with Photos app step1

Step 3. All the recently deleted photos and videos will be kept in this album, and you can recover one or more items by clicking the "Recover" button in the top-right corner.

restore deleted photos from mac with Photos step 2

Step 4. You can find the recovered photos from the original album.

3. How to Recover Deleted Photos by Undo Deletion

This method will not work for all Mac users because this option should be done immediately after deleting the photos on Mac. If you just deleted items a few minutes ago, you can try the macOS Undo option to recover deleted files Mac. Let us follow the instruction to use this built-in recovery feature:

Step 1. Suppose you have already deleted a picture on Mac just now, check the menu bar, and you should click on "Edit".

Step 2. Then, choose "Undo Move of…". This Undo option also works for file moving, and you can undo your last operation on Mac.

bring back mac deleted photos via undo option

Step 3. You can use the Command + Z shortcut to undo photo deletion to save time.

Mac Undo shortcut

4. Recover Deleted Photos from Mac Trash Folder

What is a Trash folder on Mac? Actually, it is a file transfer station, you can put unwanted files in this folder, and you can put them back if you need them again. Typically, the files kept in the Trash folder will stay for 30 days, and these files will be deleted permanently after emptying Trash on Mac. The following tutorial will let to know where is Trash on Mac and how to recover deleted photos on Mac from the Trash folder.

Step 1. You can open the Trash on Mac with Terminal and Spotlight. This folder will usually be found in the dock menu.

check the Trash icon

Step 2. After finding the Trash folder on Mac, you can see the deleted screenshots, documents, and videos in this folder.

You can check your Trash folder

Step 3. Please select all the photos you want to recover, and right-click them. Choose "Put Back", and all the photos will restore to their original places.

click on Put back to recover deleted photos on Mac

5. Restore Deleted Photos on Mac with Recent Backups

All the methods above are tested, and if you have a Mac photo backup, that will make things easier. Mac users should know that there is a built-in backup and restore utility called Mac Time Machine, and you can recover deleted photos with Mac Time Machine backup. Apple also provides a cloud service called iCloud, and it is possible to recover deleted photos on Mac with iCloud backups. We will introduce the two ways both:

How to Recover Deleted Photos on Mac with Time Machine:

Step 1. Search for Mac Time Machine with macOS Spotlight. Run this application by clicking it.

Step 2. Time Machine is a powerful tool that can restore Mac to a previous date. If you back up your Mac automatically with Time Machine, you can select the backups on different dates.

select the time machine disk to find deleted mac photos

Step 3. Select all the needed photos from the Time Machine backups, and you can find the Recover button under the window.

retrieve mac photos with time machine

How to Restore Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac from iCloud:

Step 1. Visit the iCloud official website.

Step 2. Open iCloud Photos and click "Recently Deleted". You will see all the recently deleted photos in this album, and all the images will last forty days.

recover deleted photos from icloud within 40 days

Step 3. After clicking the cloud download icon, you can recover deleted photos from iCloud to your local Mac.

download and restore old photos on icloud


With the five proven methods above, you should know it is not difficult to recover deleted photos on Mac. If you have recent backups, you will be able to recover deleted photos from backups. If you don't have any valuable backups, you should try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, and we can assure you that the recovery tool will save a lot of time for you.

Recover Deleted Photos on Mac FAQs

Now, it is time to learn more information with additional questions and answers that users frequently ask.

1. How to recover deleted screenshots on Mac?

There are five ways to recover deleted screenshots Mac:

  1. 1. Recover deleted screenshots on Mac with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.
  2. 2. Recover deleted screenshots on Mac with Time Machine.
  3. 3. Retrieve lost screenshots from Trash on Mac
  4. 4. Undo screenshots Deletion on Mac
  5. 5. Recover deleted screenshots on Mac from iCloud

2. Can you recover permanently deleted photos on Mac?

The best way to recover permanently deleted photos on Mac is by applying EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

  1. 1. Download and run this recovery software on your Mac.
  2. 2. Choose a disk or volume to scan for deleted photos.
  3. 3. Select the deleted photos from the recoverable items and recover them.

3. How do I undo photo deletion on Mac?

There are two ways to undo photo deletion on Mac. You can click the Edit option from the menu bar and choose Undo option. Or you can use the undo shortcut to cancel the last operation, and the shortcut is Command + Z.

4. Where do photos go after deleting on Mac?

Usually, the photos will be moved to the Mac Trash folder after deleting them. You cannot find deleted photos directly if you deleted photos on Mac with the Command + Shift + Delete shortcut. Don't worry! EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is a valuable recovery program that can retrieve these photos on Mac.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors and data recovery specialists of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is mainly good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization of RAID 0, 5, and 10.

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Written by Dany

Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time.

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